Recaps

Red Sox’ bullpen struggles, Astros conquer Red Sox 10-5

Rick Porcello was excellent, bullpen not so much, Astros win 10-5 over Red Sox.

Photo courtesy of Zimbio.com: (Oct. 8, 2017 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)

The Houston Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox 10-5 Thursday afternoon. With the win, the Astros move to 6-2 in Grapefruit League play while the Red Sox drop to 6-2. The game was played in Houston’s spring training stadium, Osceola County Stadium, in Kissimmee, Fla.

Rick Porcello pitched in his first spring training game of the year, opposing Astros’ starter Charlie Morton. Porcello was dominant, allowing no runs and recording four strikeouts in two innings of work. His sinking fastball looked sharped, getting some really impressive back-door action on left-handed batters. He did surrender two hits.

It was a tightly contested game until the bottom of the 5th inning when Josh Smith came in relief, allowing two earned runs. The Astros took a 4-3 lead over the Red Sox in the inning. The next inning was much of the same.

In the 6th, Daniel McGrath was credited with four earned runs against him in 0.1 innings of work. He surrendered a smoked line drive, two-RBI double to Tyler White, which brought the score to 6-3.

Matthew Gorst took over for him in the same inning, where he was promptly welcomed with a three-run homerun by touted prospect Kyle Tucker to right field.  This was the dagger, as Houston took a commanding 9-3 lead over Boston.

They scored again in the 7th.

Boston tried to get something going in the bottom of the 9th. Jesus Quiroz took over for Blake Swihart and ripped an RBI triple to make it 10-4. He then scored on a groundout two batters later, making it 10-5. Alas, the Sox couldn’t rally to make the comeback.

Notes and Opinions

  • Hanley Ramirez absolutely crushed a ball to left-center field in the 4th inning. It was his first homer of the spring.
  • As mentioned, Porcello looked wonderful in his first start. The four strikeouts were encouraging but so was the weak contact Astros’ hitters made off him. He induced some feebly hit ground balls. The right-handed pitcher saw his GB% drop from 43.1% in ’16 to 39.2% in ’17.
  • Bobby Poyner pitched in the 4th inning and did so splendidly. This is a guy to keep an eye on in the minors. The southpaw had a 0.94 ERA and 2.13 FIP in 38.1 IP with Double-A Portland last year. He’s 25 years of age.
  • Blake Swihart hit a double. That’s mildly interesting news to a lot of people, probably.
  • Per NESN’s Dave O’Brien, the life of Rick Porcello’s beard will be contingent on his performance. If he doesn’t do well, there’s a high probability he will shave it. That’s news to no one, definitely.

The Red Sox will head to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. to take on the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Boston will pitch Drew Pomeranz, making his first start of the spring training season. He will go against the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez.

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